Arches National Park Wedding Hacks

Elopements

Arches National Park Wedding Hacks for Desert Stoked Lovers

Arches National Park in Utah boasts incredible views while being one of the most popular elopement destinations in the entire state!  It even makes our list of the Best Places to Elope in Utah!  No wonder an Arches National Park wedding is sneaking around your thoughts! From dusky sunsets, dramatic vistas, and snuggly corners in the desert, you and your boo will absolutely thrive with these Arches National Park wedding hacks!

You’ll need a little bit of insider information on how to have your wedding at Arches National Park, and we wanted to let you in on all of our Arches National Park wedding hacks.  Together we’ll navigate where to elope in Arches National Park, how to get legal with the state of Utah and Arches National Park, what to do nearby, and hacks to consider if you’re bringing along guests!  But first, let’s brag on what an Arches National Park wedding can offer!

 

Why have an Arches National Park Wedding?

There are many reasons why eloping here is the most bangin’ decision you can make!

  • Stunning red rocks and canyons – need I say more.
  • You love the warm, dry weather. I actually mean hot! Disclaimer: Bring the sunscreen!
  • Adventure is your thing – from hiking, horseback riding, to mountain climbing, you seek adventure.
  • Epic photographs – close your eyes and imagine you and your partner engulfed in the red ombre of nature and the deep red sky from the setting sun.
  • Year-round access my dudes!  You can elope here any time of year, and it’s one of the Best Winter Elopement Locations in the whole US.

An Arches National Park wedding is a no-brainer if this scene calls to you.  As elopement photographers, we love helping couples sort through this process!  So let’s hop to these amazing Arches National Park wedding locations!

Couple backpacks during Montana elopement
couple hikes in Montana during hiking elopement

Places to Elope in Arches National Park

There are nine approved places where you can host a small wedding or elopement. If you’ve never planned a wedding in a national park, then you may not know some parks designate certain areas for the ceremony!  Arches is one of those parks, but thankfully all of these Arches National Park wedding locations are balls-to-the-wall.

These are the 9 approved locations:

  • La Sal Mountains viewpoint
  • The Windows Section
  • Sand Dune Arch
  • Delicate Arch
  • Delicate Arch Viewpoint
  • Pine Tree Arch
  • Landscape Arch
  • Park Avenue
  • Devils Garden Campground Area

 

If you’re choosing to elope in Arches National Park, there’s no doubt you’re considering how amazing the photos will be!  The park requests that eloping couples share these epic locations for other park visitors too!  One of our favorite Arches National Park wedding hacks is to get our big, dreamy photos of you guys with the arches and then move in for closer portraits while we let others get their dreamy images too!  Park restrictions won’t drag your day down!  It actually ensures others help us enjoy the park too!

Here’s another epic photography hack for your Arches National Park wedding: you can easily have your ceremony at one of these locations and reserve your sunset or sunrise photos for another section of the park not approved as a ceremony site!

This hack only works if you choose to have an all day Arches National Park wedding, and we always recommend couples spending at least 6 hours in the park on your elopement day to have time for your ceremony, exploring the park together, and some couples photos among these arch-giants!

If you’re wanting to elope at Arches National Park and are unsure of exactly when to elope in Arches National Park, check out the pros & cons of each season below!

husband and wife climb mountain
couple elopes in the mountains

When to Elope in Arches National Park

The time of year for your Arches National Park wedding is truly up to you. You make the friggin’ rules!  Do you want to go hiking and snowboarding or rock climbing with the summer sun on your face?

There are advantages to having your Arches National Park wedding in all of the four seasons, so here are our best hacks on how to choose when to elope in the park.

 

Arches National Park Weddings in the Summer

Have you experienced hot weather? Not like Utah! Between June and September, Utah summers can reach over 100 degrees. But if you love the summer as much as I do, opt for a sunrise or sunset elopement to hack the system. Seeing the red skies rising and falling each day against the red rocks is a sight to see!

Thankfully the heat is a dry heat, so those couples well versed in humidity will be thankful for the break in moisture!

Our biggest Arches National Park wedding hack for the summer is wearing wedding attire that is light and breathable. Taffeta, dotted swiss, and chiffon are excellent materials and provide you with the mobility you need to hike or climb. For men’s suits, look into wearing natural fibers. Wools, linen, and cotton are breathable and make for comfortable wedding attire while you’re hopping around the landscape.  Keep the attire as minimal as possible as well as breathable and sturdy footwear to adventure in!

If you choose to have an Arches National Park elopement in the summer, know that this is the high tourist season and the town of Moab can easily seem overrun.  If you’re hoping for a more private experience, we recommend choosing another killer season!

Summer has one more perk though that we love for our eloping couples to experience: torrential rain!  While Moab doesn’t get rain frequently, summer rains can cause flash floods so we’ll need to have backup plan after backup plan so we can enjoy the desert trains on your wedding day while keeping it safe for everyone!

 

Arches National Park Weddings in the Fall

Fall is great to elope in Utah. From September to December, early mornings and late evenings have a chill in the air. The cool weather and orange and yellow foliage take Arches National Park’s scenery to a whole new and unique level!

What is great about the fall is that you can layer up and layer down as the day progresses! This means you’ll be able to add to and take away from your wedding look easily!

Crowds will dwindle slightly in the fall, and temps will become more moderate.  The fall will be the best time to bring along any potential guests as temps won’t require them to get out for your elopement ceremony at sunrise or sunset to avoid drastic temperatures.

 

Arches National Park Weddings in the Winter

Not your typical winter wonderland! December through March winter elopements or micro weddings at Arches National Park are amazing. With snow-capped mountains and yellow foliage, the vibe of the desert instantly changes. Let’s not forget you can snowboard nearby for some added adventure.

Layers and more layers! Make sure to wear skin-toned leggings and layer up because it can get cold in the evenings. Don’t forget to bring along a cardigan, sweater, and jacket, so you stay warm.

An Arches National Park wedding in the winter will bring you potentially the most unique eloping experience especially when choosing the month of December.  December typically gets the most snow in the park so if you’re looking for snow against the arches, choose December for your Arches National Park elopement.

 

Arches National Park Weddings in the Spring

Springtime is my favorite time of year to recommend to eloping couples looking for a typical Arches experience without the scorch! Not too hot and not too cold, March to June boats beautiful greens and blooms to admire.  The pesky ice from winter has receded, and the days are getting longer and warmer!

The only thing that can be a bummer in these months is the tourists. If you can, schedule your elopement between Tuesday and Thursday to avoid onlookers.

Like the fall, layer your clothes in the morning and evening.

Our favorite Spring Arches National Park wedding hack: choose spring for dramatic winds!

Couples are most satisfied with their Arches National Park elopement when there is a bit of drama rustling through your wedding attire and hair!  You’re likely choosing Arches because you’re an earthy kinda couple, and choosing Spring in Arches will ensure you’ll get epic breezes to showcase how wild your wedding day actually is!

 

How to Choose How Many Hours for your Arches National Park Wedding

Perhaps you’re choosing an Arches National Park elopement, because you desire the simpler things in life.  We get it, trust me!!  Your wedding day should not make your armpits sweat profusely (except from adventure) or make you want to run and hide (unless it’s a chill game of hide and seek between you, the boo, and Utah’s desert!

A lot of eloping couples have no idea how many hours to hire a photographer or how to structure a timeline for the Arches National Park elopement.

Is it enough to just show up for a couple hours looking fly to say your vows and take dope pics?

Most couples emphatically say no!  But let’s take a look at what may take up your Arches National Park elopement day!

Some questions to consider about your Arches Wedding timeline:

  • Does your ceremony involve guests to accommodate?
  • Do you want getting ready photos outside the park?
  • Will you add any activities into your elopement day other than hiking to your favorite arches or areas of the park?
  • What can you make a part of your timeline to make the day adventurous?
  • How will you instill quiet times in the schedule so you can slow down and take in the glorious sun-soaked moment with your partner?

When considering these questions, the least amount of time couples usually book is 6 hours.  This includes time for a ceremony, couples portraits on a hike, and a relaxed activity in the park.  If you’re wanting your day to be less rushed or have a little bit more meaning infused, most couples find 10 hours to be the perfect amount!!  We love helping couples choose the perfect photography and planning assistance packages for their Arches National Park elopement!  With that being said, which is perfect for you?!

Related: 7 Elopement Tips

 

Arches National Park Elopement Packages

unlimited planning consultations (in person for local clients or online for travel clients)

6 hours of wedding day coverage

unlimited images & online, high resolution gallery

second shooter

personalized vendor referral list to help you find and hire any remaining vendors you may want

can cover ceremony, mini-celebration, photos with potential guests

includes wedding day adventure session post-ceremony & reception

$4500

This is our base package!  Our 8 hours package is our most booked!  Hit our lil contact button below to chat photography and planning assistance packages or keep scrolling to check out what you’ll need to do to keep it legal!

Best Places to Elope in Utah
Oregon Coast Elopement Photos
Oregon Coast Elopement Photos

The Legal Stuff

Get past all the legalities right away so you don’t have to worry about a thing on your elopement day. Make sure to bring your ID, and you must be 18 years or older unless you have parental consent.

 

  • You can get your marriage license on the same day at the County Clerk’s Office if you’re looking for spontaneity! It will be valid for 30 days, and it costs around $20-$60.  Our Arches National Park wedding hack, however, it to arrive a few days early to pick up your license so there’s no need to stress on the day of your Arches National Park elopement.
  • The state of Utah requires that you have two witnesses to sign your marriage license at your Utah elopement. If your family or friends aren’t present, you can always ask your vendors or me, your photographer, to sign! I will assist you through every step of the planning process.  Another Arches National Park wedding hack is to have a random hiker sign!!  This makes for a fun memory, and folks are always stoked to take on this honor!
  • Utah requires that you have an officiant at your elopement. There are elopement officiants you could hire or have a close friend or family member get ordained to make for a more intimate ceremony. Getting ordained is simple and can be done with just a few clicks!  Or we can easily refer a ceremony officiant to you!
  • If you are eloping in a national park or state park, you will need an elopement permit. All you do is make the call to the office of the park and follow their guidelines!  Check here for more detailed permit instructions and wedding details.

 

Our biggest Arches National Park wedding hack for those wanting to elope with just you two and not have to hire an officiant is to get legally married in your home county before traveling to Arches.  That way you are legally already married, and you can focus on the commitment ceremony during your Arches elopement without worrying on legalities!

If you decide to elope legally in your home county, you’ll still need to apply for a ceremony permit with the park to keep it legit with Arches even if you’re already legally wed.

Here’s the skinny on the wedding fees:

  • Administration and management fee – $130
  • Application fee – $55
  • $30 per car fee

 

Make sure to fill out the wedding permit forms here! The park usually processes these within ten days.  However, more folks are starting to catch on that an Arches National Park wedding is a killer idea!

We recommend applying for this permit with the park as soon as you’ve decided on your location with your photographer as we’ll be competing with other couples for the most amazing locations and times of day!

Now that we’ve chosen your location and gotten legit, we need to figure out exactly how you’re going to spend your Arches National Park wedding day!

 

Activities for your Arches National Park Wedding Day

There is a ridiculous number of activities to choose from when you elope at Arches National Park. You must love adventure since you’re considering eloping in Arches, but we’ve got hacks on what to do for the more adventurous couples, more chill couples, and for those wanting to even adventure outside the park on their wedding day.

Arches National Park is a mere 5 miles north of Moab, Utah—a killer location all on its own.  There’s plenty to do in the park, but Moab (and the surrounding areas) offer you a break from national park crowds and a new perspective on what to explore in the desert.  Let’s check out what to do on your Arches National Park wedding day inside the park first!

 

Here is my list of killer activities to do in and around the park.

Activities in the park:

  • Visit the Delicate Arch—The Delicate Arch is free-standing rock formations protruding from the ground – stretching 52 feet to the sky. The hike to visit the arch is about 3 miles round trip.
  • 4×4 Adventure from Moab—See fossilized dinosaur tracks, Arch Tower, and Marching men on the epic 4×4 guided tour.
  • Standup paddleboarding – Paddleboard along the Colorado River. Every turn along the river is a new discovery of red rock formations. This is one for the books!
  • Stay out in the park past dark—Stargaze through the arches and get dreamy photos of you both snuggled up against the stars!
  • Plan on doing a wine tasting during sunset—Bring your 3 loves together (your boo, adventure, and hella delicious beverages) by packing in an assortment of wines (or other faves) to sip on! And here’s another hack—be sure it’s a beverage that’s delicious cold to cool you off after your adventure!

 

Activities around the park:

  • Colorado River white-water rafting—Go balls to the wall river rafting on the Colorado River. The exhilarating ride will take you through Class III rapids near Fisher Tower.
  • Horseback riding—Travel the roads unknown with a guided tour and see more historical wonders. “If you climb into the saddle, you better be ready for the ride!”
  • Don’t forget that Utah is one of the best states in the US for rock climbing! No worries if you’re a beginner.  There are plenty of private rock climbing guides that can take you out of the park for an adventure.

 

Best Places to Elope in Utah

Lodging at Arches National Park

When you choose an Arches National Park wedding, you won’t be at a loss on stellar places to stay.  Whether you choose to bring along guests or have your Arches National Park elopement with just you two (and us too, of course), you’ll need lodging that fits your vibe.

Nearby Moab and more secluded areas will offer you everything from ritzy lodging to desert hangs to Southwestern vibes.  Not to mention, glamping is a great option!

Here’s some of our favorite lodging near Arches National Park:

Moab House – The Moab House is so cool! Located just around the bend from the Arches National Park and Canyonlands, your panoramic view is literally all red rock! You also happen to be down the road from Moab city center so you can explore the town and dine out.

Sorrel River Ranch – My number one pick would be the Sorrel River Ranch! Spend your evenings getting a couple’s massage followed by roasting marshmallows around the bonfire, and follow the calm for a skydive or rock climbing – is there anything this place won’t do for you?

Glamping Getaway—if you’re bringing along your pup, this is our favorite dog-friendly glamping spot!!  Located within minutes of Arches National Park, you’ll find this low-key luxury tent.  You’ll have access to sparkling clean shared bathrooms and a simpler way to celebrate your Arches National Park wedding.

 

Leave No Trace During Your Arches National Park Wedding

A lot of eloping couples choose Utah because of its raw beauty and untouched while humbling landscapes.  We have access to these areas for your Arches National Park wedding, because others have stewarded this land to preserve it.  We will likewise steward this land during your Arches National Park elopement, so here are some hot tips on how to do that well if you are unfamiliar with the landscapes.

The terrain may look rugged, but it is a very fragile ecosystem. The soil’s crust is comprised of algae, fungi, and lichens which grow in the dusty areas of the park. The park gets over 1 million visitors every year, and it is vital to Leave No Trace.  We leave the park the way we found it and don’t disturb the untouched regions.

Here are some quick tips on how to begin loving this land well:

  • Don’t be a nature thief and leave the flowers and rocks alone.
  • Pick up all your trash, and don’t leave anything behind.
  • As cute as the deer may look, they are still wild animals and are not used to human interaction, so we don’t disturb them.
  • Stay on all the walking paths; we don’t want to damage the vegetation.

There is so much more to learn when hoping to Leave No Trace on public lands.  As Leave No Trace aware photographers, we educate all of our clients on the Leave No Trace principles as well as how to make the best informed decision when choosing how to celebrate your wedding in the great outdoors!  We are passionate about these lands, and we love to help couples create Arches National Park elopement days full of excitement while leaving this land untouched.

eloping bride straddles groom
wedding couple stands on boulder in libby montana
Hiking wedding photographers

Yo.  You need a hiking wedding guide and photographer.

Imma be so honest.  We love hiking weddings, and we love helping couples plan their elopement days to be full of meaning and intention.  Kick that tradition crap outta here, and let’s plan something magical together!

You deserve for your wedding day to bring you peace in the great outdoors, and this is only a taste of how we help our couples.

All of our elopement packages come with professional elopement photography, two photographers, and unlimited planning assistance.  We think this is the best way to serve eloping couples, and we can’t wait to chat!

Contact us about photographing your elopement!

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Hey, it’s us!

We’re Des & Dan! Husband & wife elopement photographers, planners, and officiants! We help couples like you create elopement days full of meaningful details, authentic moments, and creative experiences because we believe you deserve a wedding day where you are truly heard—a wedding day you can truly remember.

We’d love to help in any way you can, so check out our other free planning resources or send us an email by hitting contact! We’d love to hop on the phone and see what you’re envisioning for your elopement day.

You deserve this.

Des & Dan

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